The Nash Family This is a true story about the Nash family who live in the USA. The photograph here is of Molly Nash. Molly was born with a very rare illness called Fanconi anaemia. When she was born, Molly was very tiny. She was missing her thumbs and also her hip sockets and she had two holes in her heart. She grew very slowly and had many problems with her health: her kidneys, her immune system and digestion of her food. She needed a lot of special care, hospital treatment and surgery. Fanconi anaemia also meant that Molly could not make her own healthy bone marrow. Molly’s symptoms were getting worse, and she needed a bone marrow transplant to prevent her from dying. But she needed a bone marrow transplant from someone with a very close genetic match, and the doctors could not find a good match. Molly’s parents wanted another child, but one that would definitely be free of Fanconi anaemia. They also wanted their baby to be a close match for Molly so that the baby could be a donor for Molly. Being a donor for Molly would not hurt the baby as only cells from the umbilical cord would be used (the cord is normally discarded after birth). What do you think about that? Should Molly’s parents be allowed to select their baby so that it does not have Fanconi anaemia? Should they be allowed to select a good match to Molly at the same time, so that Molly can be saved? If they do not have a baby, what will happen to Molly? If they do have a baby, will he or she grow up just like any other? What if the bone marrow transplant failed to save Molly, would her parents still feel the same about the new baby? Might the child be asked later in life to donate bone marrow to Molly? What happened? The laws in the USA are different to the ones in the UK and Molly’s parents were allowed to carry out the treatment and select a baby to match Molly. In the image left, you can see Molly with her brother Adam shortly after he was born and she was given the bone marrow transplant – she lost all her hair as part of the treatment. The transplant using cells from Adam’s umbilical cord was successful and both children are now healthy. In the picture below, you can see Molly, at the age of 10 with her brother, Adam, her ‘saviour sibling’. The film and book My sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, was oringally based on the Nash’s Story and the concept of saviour siblings. However, the book and film, which are fictional have very different outcomes to the real-life happy ending. PGD scientist Sue Pickering says "The scenario in the film could not happen in real-life because children cannot be donors except of their umbilical cords after birth. In the few cases of saviour siblings that have occurred in the UK, the outcome has been a happy one if a baby was conceived."